Yadav smashed an unbeaten 51 off just 25 deliveries to help the Men in Blue set a challenging 180-run target for the Netherlands in their Group 2 Super 12 clash on Thursday, October 27. The Indian bowlers then restricted the Dutch to 123/9 in their allotted 20 overs to win the match by a handsome margin of 56 runs.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Harbhajan was asked about his thoughts on Yadav delivering the goods against the Netherlands after a failure against Pakistan. He responded:
"He is your biggest player. The Indian team will be there till the time Surya shines. We will be seen in slight difficulty the day he doesn't shine. If India have to go ahead, it is imperative for him to play well."
The former Indian spinner pointed out that the unconventional batter provides the required momentum to the Indian innings. He explained:
"The pace at which Rohit Sharma scores runs and the pace at which Virat Kohli scores runs in the first 30 balls, they play a different style of cricket. If Suryakumar Yadav plays 30 balls, he scores 60-70, he scores match-winning runs."
Yadav walked out to bat against the Netherlands with India at 84/2 after 12 overs. He looked at ease in the middle throughout his innings, while the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli struggled to time the ball on a slightly sluggish surface.
"He is an extremely crucial player for this team" - Harbhajan Singh on Suryakumar Yadav
Harbhajan pointed out that Yadav needs to continue playing aggressively for India to stand a chance of winning the tournament. He said:
"He is an extremely crucial player for this team. If the Indian team have to win the cup, which we all are hoping that we will come back after winning the cup, it is extremely important for this player to play like that."
The cricketer-turned-commentator concluded by observing that India would be restricted to below-par scores if the Mumbaikar also adopts a conservative approach. He stated:
"If he also looks to score 40 runs off 30 balls, then the 170 total we reach, that will be left at 135 and anyone chases 135-140. I hope that Surya's shine keeps increasing every day. We are in Australia, the sun shines bright there in any case, so our sun should also shine there even more."
Suryakumar Yadav has amassed 1111 runs at an outstanding strike rate of 177.47 in the 36 T20Is he has played. His 867 runs in 25 games this year have come at an even better strike rate of 184.86.
Poll : Will Suryakumar Yadav have a strike rate of 150+ in India's next game against South Africa?